Author Archives: morgan

What I’m reading 2 Mar 2017 through 17 Mar 2017

  • Trump Embraces One Of Russia’s Favorite Propaganda Tactics — Whataboutism : NPR – Rhetoric is *always* about policy.

    > But whataboutism extends beyond rhetoric, said Dmitry Dubrovsky, a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. "It's not only a narrative practice; it's real policy," he said. "For example, the Russians installed a special institute to cover the violation of human rights in the United States." – (epistemology politics rhetoric trump )

  • Trump knows the feds are closing in on him – Today's poli-rhetorical lesson from Business Insider. – (none)
  • Trump’s Speech to Congress Was Not “Normal” – The New Yorker – > Yet these were superficialities. On closer inspection, Tuesday’s speech was not that normal at all—at least, not in light of what the President and his aides have spent the past few weeks doing and saying. Trump’s sudden distaste for “the wedge of disunity”—a wedge he has used with such abandon that he could just as well brand it, gild it, and have his sons sell it—was so obviously at odds with his public persona that it provoked, on the Democratic side of the aisle, bitter laughter. But the starkest contradiction the speech contained was the one between the President, who promised “a new program of national rebuilding,” and the words of his senior adviser, Stephen Bannon, who announced, only five days earlier, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington, that the Administration had begun a project of “deconstruction.” So which is it: Is the federal government in the construction business, as Trump insists, or the deconstruction business, as Bannon has put it? Can it possibly be in both? – (rhetoric )

What I’m reading 1 Mar 2017

What I’m reading 23 Feb 2017 through 24 Feb 2017

What I’m reading 9 Feb 2017 through 19 Feb 2017

  • Donald Trump and the Enemies of the American People – The New Yorker – How to define the enemy as anyone who challenges power

    > an old-fashioned autocrat wielding a very familiar rhetorical strategy.

    > all follow a general pattern. They attack and threaten the press with deliberate and ominous intensity; the press, in turn, adopts a more oppositional tone and role. “And then that paves the way for the autocrat’s next move,” Simon told me. “Popular support for the media dwindles and the leader starts instituting restrictions. It’s an old strategy.” Simon pointed to Trump’s lack of originality, recalling that both Néstor Kirchner, of Argentina, and Tabaré Ramón Vázquez, of Uruguay, referred to the press as the “unelected political opposition.” And, as Simon has written, it was the late Hugo Chávez who first mastered Twitter as a way of bypassing the media and providing his supporters with alternative facts. – (rhetoric politics trump )

  • Donald Trump Will Leave You Numb – The New York Times – I can't recall the rhetorical figure of "repeat until exhausted." Too tired. But this is also about kairos: "Not by accident did he put on that 77-minute performance for the media — hurling insults, flinging lies, marinating in self-pity, luxuriating in self-love — just three days after the resignation of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and amid intensifying questions about collusion between Team Trump and the Russians.
    "He was cluttering the landscape. Overwhelming the senses. Betting that a surfeit of clangorous music would obscure any particularly galling note. That wager got him all the way to the White House, though he has no place being there, and so he sticks with it. The news conference was a case study in such orchestrated chaos." – (rhetoric rhetorical_velocity kairos exhaustion simuations analysis )
  • Understanding Trump « George Lakoff – – (none)

What I’m reading 29 Jan 2017 through 6 Feb 2017

  • Vie and deWinter – Disrupting Intellectual Property, from Wikis in Composition – For teachers mainly. > By challenging the authority of the single authorial voice, wikis also call into question traditional notions of intellectual property as a market commodity. These notions propagate the argument that ideas are a unique product of individual labor and can thus “belong” to a single person. It may be precisely because wikis challenge these established notions that some student users resist their use in the classroom. In keeping with this general theme, the questions that guide our research are as follows: What is the currency of intellectual property in the university setting? Do wikis, in fact, disrupt established, dominant notions of intellectual property? – (wiki en3177 collaboration collaborativewriting copyright )
  • The Peek-a-Boo World of a Global Villager – The Hawk’s Roost – Connects Blood, Rettberg, and McLuhan in the social media village:

    > Does the disciplined approach, which blogging in its intended form is described as possessing, offer the solution to legitimizing the discussions we as a society are having. Am I wrong in sensing that social media has become plagued with a lack of ethical discourse, where important social issues are overwhelmed with copious amounts of misinformation. Where the atmosphere is clouded with an overall lack of informational credibility? – (weblogs )

  • Trump’s America, where even park employees have become enemies of the state | Sarah Kendzior | Opinion | The Guardian – A consideration of Trump's alternative facts and their rhetorical use.

    > What Americans have learned is that our system of checks and balances is so weak that even parks employees can become enemies of the state. They are learning their rights as they lose them, grieving for what they once took for granted. Fear is matched by incredulity that hundreds of years of imperfect democracy could cede into autocracy with such ease. Trump’s win was followed by debate over what it means to live in a “post-facts” world. This was a fatuous debate: if facts did not matter, then Trump and his team, whose threats of punishment and litigation long preceded his official lock on power, would not work so hard to suppress them. The idea of a fact always mattered – it simply had to be the Trump administration’s facts that counted. Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, made this blatant last weekend when she stated that the administration would proffer “alternative facts” that justified its political aims. – (politics rhetoric trump )

What I’m reading 25 Jan 2017 through 28 Jan 2017

bloggers take a modernist stance


Cage: Prepared piano

Blogs can be experiments that disrupt because they stand apart from management culture. The din of the blog can disrupt, interrupt, the music of the management spheres. Does this sound too much like the Luddites facing off modernization-by-management? Cult whacks culture? From Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture, by Geert Lovink

Of course blog culture is different from the entrepreneurial risk cult embodied by management gurus such as Tom Peters. Much like Ulrich Beck defined risk, bloggers deal with hazards and insecurities induced by never-ending waves of modernization. What is blogged is the relentless uncertainty of the everyday. Whereas entrepreneurs colonize the future, energized by collective hallucinations, bloggers expose the present in which they find themselves caught.

Not Luddism then. Perhaps “the relentless uncertainty” that Modernism embraced and shored against its ruins. Eliot created poetry from fragments. Pound intentionally mistranslated Chinese ideograms (Kenner, and Perloff). Picasso took to cubism. Duchamp created readymades ready made to whack the salon culture (still going on with Tracy Emin). V Wolfe freed the English narrator from narrating a material diegesis (Joyce ditto with the Irish narrator). Gertrude Stein sprung US syntax on everybody. Cage created music using prepared pianos. Uncertainty. Disharmony. Making noise. Making a kind of noise that makes a melody hard to discern until an ear is retuned. Rétoured. Noise fosters critics.

What about risks? Management culture talks about taking risks strategically. What does the blogger’s risk entail? Nihilism? Alienation? Is it a greater risk to act than not to? A greater risk to speak or stay silent? Bloggers don’t do risk assessment.

Bloggers disrupt the disrupters. They override the constant talk about change. It is remarkably easy to attack the post-modern corporation as it solely depends on a hollow public image, developed by third-party consultants. Online diaries, rants, and comments so easily defy the manufactured harmony at which community engineering aims.

As bloggers get louder, so do image-makers. As the scene gets noisier, less is hearable. The situation creates critics because more discernment is needed to hear, to catch, the signal in the noise. Modernism’s co-emergent dialectic was New Criticism. We might look to a revival to bring out the melody. Then there’s the risk of commitment. Public image is hollow because opportunistic, but the image-makers come in unending waves. If they’re going to disrupt (arms against a sea of), bloggers are in it for the long term.

Footnote: Ok, I agree that modernism can be cold. It is a logocentric noise that shouted out the more erotic programs and aesthetics of the 20s – 30s – 40s – 50s. The point here is that noise is //made//, like poetry, music, prose, sculpture, painting, code that runs software that runs our life. We’re never far from algorithms that generate fractals. Modernism is close at hand, but there are other schools within reach.

What I’m reading 15 Jan 2017 through 24 Jan 2017

  • Getting Started on Academic Twitter v2.0 – A current introduction and advice. – (twitter en3177 )
  • Editing wars at London Bridge Street – When procedures are offered up as irony, it's art. – (strunknwhite grammar )
  • The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear – The New Yorker – The New Yorker weighs in on authoritarianism in the 21st century: "at that terrifying first press conference of Trump’s, on Wednesday, we saw the looming face of pure authoritarianism. Rewards are promised to the obedient: those good states that voted the right way, the “responsible” press. Punishments are threatened to the bad: “They’re going to suffer the consequences!” Intimidation is the greeting to any critic. And look! There’s a claque alongside to cheer the big boss and deride his doubters. This is what was once called Bonapartism: I won and I can now do anything I choose. Victory, however narrow, is license for all. Autocracy, after all, has always been compatible with plebiscitary endorsement. The point of constitutional government is to make even the victors subject to the rules." – (authoritarianism politics trump )

blogging as self management

Consider the blog as self-recorded and self monitored voice of a person. From Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture, by Geert Lovink.

The blog emphasizes the making of a written record from the oral tradition. Directed at a potential co-conversant, others listen in. Who reads the conversation? Who’s listening in? Who has prying ears?

How do we analyze media of such an informal character? A Weblog is the voice of a person, as überblogger Dave Winer once defined it. It is a digital extension of oral traditions more than a new form of writing. Through blogging, news is being transformed from a lecture into a conversation. Blogs echo rumor and gossip, conversations in cafes and bars, on squares and in corridors. They record “the events of the day”. With today’s “recordability” of situations, we are no longer upset that computers “read” all of our moves and expressions (sound, image, text) and “write” them into strings of zeros and ones. In that sense, blogs fit into the wider trend where all our movements and activities are being monitored and stored. In the case of blogs, this is carried out not by some invisible and abstract authority but by the subjects themselves who record their everyday life. When people are still upset to find that they’ve been fired after having made critical remarks about their employers on their blogs, one realizes we are still in the early days for the spread of this insight. “Who reads my blog anyway?” Well, apparently your boss does.

Maybe we should be flattered that the boss and what the boss represents takes the time to pay attention to our personal recordings. At least the boss reads, and not just 0s and 1s , but reads words that form meaning. Or is read to.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First consider the recording side because first comes the recording.  Bloggers record their subjectivity as they course through the day. These events happened. This event of recording happened too, and the recording itself can make something more happen when the abstract Boss reads and re-records it.

When you first hear the sound of your own voice on a recording and think, Is that really me? Do I really sound like that? you aren’t listening to what the voice is saying. Do I really sound like that? Really? The modulation of the voice can be changed. Maggie Thatcher did it, shifted her voice down a couple of notches. The change purportedly made what she was saying more palatable to her listeners, and she became more rhetorically adept. Blogging is a voice coach. This is blogging as self-management. This is the wider trend.

Then there’s this: blogging is not in vain

 

two probes on blogging on the daybook

I’ve posted a couple of probes on blogging over on the Weblogs Daybook. Lovink on snark in blogging, and blogging is not in vain. I wanted to get them in front of students in the Weblogs class. From here on, I’ll post probes to this blog.

I’m also using CogDog’s flickr cc attribution helper and advice for locating CC images. What a treat. Makes me want to search for and embed images all day.